27 April 2005

Newcastle (0) 0
Middlesbrough (0) 0

The North-East derby ended goalless to keep Middlesbrough on target for
a UEFA Cup spot, whilst Newcastle's season threatens to peter out into
nothingness. Despite the lack of goals, there were chances with Boro's
best falling to Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink, but his chip was straight at
the keeper. Newcastle improved as the game progressed and had two great
late chances to win in, firstly when James Milner was denied by a
terrific save by Brad Jones and in stoppage time, Alan Shearer set up
youngster Charles N'Zogbia, however his shot sailed over.

Attendance : 52,047
Assists : n/a

26 April 2005

West Brom (1) 1 (Richardson 32 fk)
Blackburn (0) 1 (Emerton 64)

Struggling West Brom missed the chance to move out of the bottom three
after failing to hold onto a lead at home to rapidly improving
Blackburn. The home side went ahead with a superbly struck, curling free
kick from Kieron Richardson which gave the keeper no chance, however in
the second half, Morton Gamst Pedersen set up Brett Emerton to fire in
the equaliser into the roof of the net. Three clubs are now level on 30
points at the bottom with Southampton a further two back.

Attendance : 25,154
Assists : Horsfield (won fk), Pedersen 

25 April 2005

Arsenal (1) 1 (Reyes 22)
Spurs (0) 0

Arsenal keep their slim title hopes alive with a narrow win in the North
London derby against Spurs. Arsenal could have taken the lead within the
opening minute as Jose Antonio Reyes burst clear and having rounded the
keeper, shot wide of the empty net as he lost his balance. Ironicially,
Spurs then looked the more likely side as Jermain Defoe sent a chip just
wide and then blasted an effort straight at Jens Lehmann, however it wasn't
long for the hosts went ahead. Cesc Fabregas was the provider as he sent
Reyes clear again and this time the Spaniard made no mistake, drilling the
ball in from a tight angle. Patrick Vieira then headed wide whilst Robin Van
Persie was inches away with a shot wide as the Gunners looked to increase
their lead before the break. Chances were few and far between after the
interval, although Senderos with a header and Dennis Bergkamp with a
curler did come close to doubling the lead. Spurs finished strongly though
and almost spoiled the night for Arsenal when sub Robbie Keane sent a free
headed wide from close range with time running out.

Attendance : 38,147
Assists : Fabregas
24 April 2005
Portsmouth (4) 4 (Yakubu (pen) 4, De Zeeuw 17, Lua-Lua 22, 27) Southampton (1) 1 (Camara 20) Bottom club Southampton remain rooted at the foot after being well and truly walloped at local rivals Portsmouth today. Any chance of this being a tight and tense local derby was shattered inside half an hour when five goals, four for the hosts, sent Fratton Park into raptures. Portsmouth went ahead when Lomana Lua-Lua was brought down in the area by keeper Antti Niemi and Yakubu calmly found the roof of the net with the spot kick and the lead was doubled when Patrick Berger's free kick was headed powerfully in at the far post by Arjan De Zeeuw. Saints gave themselves hopes when a clearance by Niemi was chased by Henri Camara who found the bottom corner with a crisp shot, however within two minutes, Berger's long ball tempted Niemi miles out of his goal and after the bounce deceived him under pressure from Lua-Lua, the striker lobbed the ball into the empty net from 20 yards. Lua-Lua seemed to pull a hamstring, possibly due to his somersault celebrations, and was ready to come off, however he was involved again as Yakubu and Steve Stone broke and as the ball fell to him, Lua-Lua curled home the fourth with a superb shot which clipped in off the post. Ultimately his injury didn't improved and he was still taken off after just half an hour, but he'd certainly made his mark! As so often happens after a first half goal blitz, the second was an anti-climax as Portsmouth settled for what they had and Southampton comtinued to stutter. Attendance : 20,210 Assists : Lua-Lua (won pen), Berger (fk), Niemi (gk), n/a, n/a Man United (0) 2 (Rooney 57, Brown 74) Newcastle (1) 1 (Ambrose 27) Wayne Rooney scored a sensational Goal Of The Season contender as Man United ended their month long goal drought to come from behind and beat Newcastle at Old Trafford. Newcastle led at half time thanks largely to home keeper Tim Howard and the enterprise of youngster Darren Ambrose. The American stopper had already looked a little dodgy on a couple of occasions when his clearance was far too flat and fell for Ambrose 30 yards from goal. With the help of a touch from Shola Ameobi, he burst through the United defence and slotted the ball into the net past Howard. United continued to stutter until Rooney's bolt from the blue which came about after a chipped ball forward from Roy Keane was only partially cleared by Andy O'Brien. Rooney then came onto the header and before it bounced, smashed a fantastic volley into the top corner from fully 30 yards, giving the keeper no chance. Despite no firing on all cylinders, the home side took the lead and clinched the points when Ryan Giggs's corner was headed home by Wes Brown for his first ever Prem goal. Attendance : 67,845 Assists : Ameobi, n/a, Giggs (ck) 23 April 2005 Aston Villa 1 (Hierro og 26) Bolton 1 (Speed 54) Bolton kept their Champions League hopes alive with a draw at Aston Villa, leaving them four points adrift of fourth placed Everton. Villa went ahead against the run of play when Fernando Hierri headed a Nol Solano corner into his own net, however early in the second half, Gary Speed rose to head home El-Hadji Diouf's cross to earn a point. Attendance : 36,053 Assists : n/a, Diouf Blackburn 0 Manchester City 0 Drab encounter at Ewood Park as Blackburn and Man City look to see their season's out. Rovers had the better chances, however City keeper David James was in good form, especially a late save by Jonathon Stead which kept the scoreline blank. Attendance : 24,646 Assist : n/a Crystal Palace 1 (Johnson 34) Liverpool 0 Liverpool slump to four points behind Everton after a defeat at Crystal Palace which moved Iain Dowie's side out of the bottom three. The only goal came almost inevitably from Andy Johnson, although this was his first goal in open play for two months. The England international reacted sharply to head the ball home after Wayne Routledge's initial shot was heading well wide. Attendance : 26,043 Assist : Routledge Middlesbrough 4 (Nemeth 27, 37, Hasselbaink 33, Downing 90 fk) West Brom 0 Middlesbrough's European hopes were rekindled as the expense of West Brom who stay in the bottom three after this hammering. The visitors actually began well and could have been ahead before Boro took the lead. Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink had a shot saved and Szilard Nemeth was on hand to fire the rebound across goal and in. The lead was doubled when Nemeth surged to the goal-line and crossed, only for Russell Hoult to palm the ball toward his own goal. Hasselbaink blazed the ball into the net, although there was some debate as tpo whether the ball was already over the line. No doubts about the third as Hasselbaink was again denied by Hoult only for Nemeth to nod the loose ball into the gaping net. Stuart Downing wrapped up the victory in the final minute with a superb 25-yard free kick, leaving West Brom with a midweek game in hand at Blackburn which they'll feel they need to win. Attendance : 32,951 Assists : n/a, n/a, n/a, Hasselbaink (won fk) Norwich 1 (Svensson 88) Charlton 0 Ten points from their last twelve now for Norwich who remain in the bottom three but have significantly increased their chances of beating the drop in recent weeks. They left it very late on Wednesday against Newcastle and did the same again on Saturday against Charlton as they finally broke through with two minutes to go. The goal came from a long throw which was nodded on by Dean Ashton and Leon McKenzie and eventually volleyed in by former Charlton star Mathias Svensson. Attendance : 25,459 Assist : McKenzie Chlsea 3 (Cole 17, Lampard 64, Gudjohnsen 87) Fulham 1 (John 41) Chelsea are points away from becoming league champions after a hard foght victory over local rivals Fulham at Stamford Bridge. After a steady start Chelsea took the lead with a superb goal from Joe Cole. Fulham couldn't clear the edge of their area and after Didier Drogba found Cole, he found space and curled a terrific effort just inside the post. The lead didn't last until half time though as Fulham levelled matters just before the break. This time Luis Boa Morte was the provider as he played Collins John through. He held off the challenge of Ricardo Carvalho before slotting the ball in from six yards. Arjen Robben was brought on at half time, returning from injury for his first Chelsea game in ten weeks and within twenty minutes he'd shown what had been missing as he beat his man on the left and cut the ball back for Frank Lampard to drill the ball between defender and keeper from just inside the area. The result was clinched late on when Tiago's through ball sent Eidur Gudjohnsen clear and having held off two defenders, he slotted the ball home cooly. With Man United now mathamatically out of the title race, Arsenal must beat North London rivals Spurs on Monday to keep the overall race alive. Attendance : 42,081 Assists : Drogba, Boa Morte, Robben, Tiago Everton 1 (Ferguson 86) Birmingham 1 (Heskey 5) Everton were grateful for other results going their way as they were held at home to Birmingham in their quest for a Champions League place. Former Liverpool striker Emile Heskey gave the visitors the lead with a fine shot from 25 yards after being found by Jermaine Pennant, however with time running out, supersub Duncan Ferguson netted again with a close range effort after both Tim Cahill and Marcus Bent had seen efforts blocked. Attendance : 36,828 Assists : Pennant, n/a Gary Dowden - Joint Admin Topica Premier-L list
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